Monday, October 10, 2011

Living Room Talk #3: Getting to know Middle Eastern cuisine & culture

Eli shows a prayer shawl used on Sabbath to pray and bless the little children at home.
As a child, it always made him feel secure when his Abba tucked him inside the shawl.

This is the third Living Room talk I've held and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this one with Eli, my friend from Israel leading the conversation. 

Eli started the evening with a demonstration on how to bake pita bread, za'atar bread and how to prepare labane. Then he gave a presentation on Israel - geography, history, politics, tourism, agriculture, and shared with us his beautiful photos of the land.

As always, I got busy and didn't make time for good photography. Still, I want to show you whatever I managed to shoot.

We baked some 8-10 pita breads. I enjoyed watching them puff up in the oven. One secret is to dab some water
on the dough before popping into the oven. 
I prepared again some humuus but this time, I learned to add pomegranates on top of the dip for an extra crunch.
That added texture and sweetness to a dry dip. I was happy to see an empty bowl at the end of the evening.
Za'atar - mixed herbs of wild thyme, oregano, and a few other things. Look out for the next Word of the Week.
Next to it is some Atlantic kosher sea salt
Not exactly picture perfect to say the least, but I want to show you this interesting dish called Labane -
traditionally using goat's cheese but here we used yoghurt. This is how it's made...
Yoghurt, dill, salt. Mix them and place them in a cloth bag to strain liquid in refrigerator.
Keep for 2 days for soft cheese and 4 days for hard cheese.
Discard liquid.  Labane is yummy!
I want to go to Israel and the Middle East, just to eat! Meanwhile, I will make do with a visit to a Moorish restaurant this week, and I will of course blog all about it.

And now, let's see who I should invite for my next Living Room talk...

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